Public Affairs Office
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
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September 24, 2002
Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022, [log in to unmask]


Library of Congress authority records are now available online on the
Library's Web site at Known as Library of
Congress Authorities, the free online service allows users to search,
display and download authority records in the MARC 21 format for use
in local library systems.

An authority record is a tool used by librarians to establish forms of
names (for persons, places, meetings and organizations), titles and
subjects used on bibliographic records. Authority records enable
librarians to provide uniform access to materials in library catalogs
and to provide clear identification of authors and subject headings. Authority
records also provide cross references to lead users to the headings used in
library catalogs.

The Library of Congress database contains more than 5.5 million
authority records. Through the Library of Congress Authorities
service, users have access to these authority records, including
3.8 million personal, 900,000 corporate, 120,000 meeting, 90,000 geographic name
authority records; 265,000 subject authority
records; 350,000 series and uniform title authority records;
and 340,000 name/title authority records.

The Library is currently working with Endeavor Information
Systems to provide access via Z39.50 (an international standard
for information retrieval) and other features such as the full
MARC 21 character set for display and download of authority data
and access to the approximately 2,300 subject subdivision records
in the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

This new service was made available on a trial basis on July 1.
During the trial period, the Library sought feedback from users
worldwide to assist in evaluating the service. User response was overwhelmingly
positive.  Based on their input, the Library has made improvements to Library of
Congress Authorities and decided to offer
his free service on a permanent basis.

The Library welcomes comments from users, which should be sent via
e-mail to [log in to unmask]

A PowerPoint presentation on Library of Congress Authorities is
available at

PR 02-114
ISSN 0731-3527
posted at the request of the LC-ILS Office; apologies for the duplication.